My Ph.D. journey taught me plenty about reading as an entrepreneur. I had no idea what I was about to discover…

When I first started my Ph.D., I thought I was an avid reader. I loved to say, “I love to read.” In reality, I haven’t read a full book cover to cover in years. Maybe one or two here and there. Let alone, the multitude of whitepapers, reports, and mini-booklets I’ve accumulated for my strategic planning months.

I remember when I received my first set of reading materials – it was over 100 articles to read to prepare for my first set of Ph.D. courses. I thought, wow, but doable. Then I began reading. Well, I was not as well-read as I thought, that’s what academic reading will do to you. Knock all the practitioner confidence right out of you.

However, I’m competitive and I welcomed the challenge. Here’s the best formula I have found for article reading:

  1. Read the full article (not skim) and take notes as you read.
  2. Create a presentation as if you are presenting a 15-minute overview of the article.
  3. Record yourself stating key points. And then, listen to your recording.
  4. Read the full article (not skim) again and go through your notes.
  5. Finish your presentation and create a video of your 15-minute presentation.
  6. Now, skim-read at least 10 other articles related to the topic you’re reading about.

This sounds ambitious and daunting, however, it works! For me that is.

The challenge I had to overcome quickly, was comprehension in terms of practitioner vs. academic language. I think this is where a huge gap exists between practitioners and academics. We don’t need to “speak” the same language, we need to be able to “interpret” our languages for understanding and application.

You can use this process for whitepapers, research articles, in-depth reports – as a business owner, you must engage in your reading so that comprehension sticks. It will be simpler to use the acquired knowledge effectively.

Back to reading!

© Effició, Inc.

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Sherese Duncan

Duncan, President & CEO of Efficio, Incorporated, has developed and taught entrepreneurial training for Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and Business Owners around the world. She has also taught undergraduate and non-credit courses on business strategy, business systems, technology, financial management, human capital, marketing, and many other disciplines of entrepreneurship. In life and in business, Duncan takes a different approach than many; instead of encouraging her business clients to follow the age-old saying of “think outside the box,” Duncan pushes her clients to realize that there is no box in the first place! Duncan is a “trusted, confident strategic partner,” who helps her clients “create the wealth and a complete, whole and balanced life that they want through entrepreneurship.” Duncan and her companies are all about execution and results. Join Efficio's business and entrepreneurship programs for clarity and perpetuity.


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